YTHDC1 is downregulated by the YY1/HDAC2 complex and controls the sensitivity of ccRCC to sunitinib by targeting the ANXA1-MAPK pathway

J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2022 Aug 17;41(1):250. doi: 10.1186/s13046-022-02460-9.


Background: Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) such as sunitinib are multitarget antiangiogenic agents in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). They are widely used in the treatment of advanced/metastatic renal cancer. However, resistance to TKIs is common in the clinic, particularly after long-term treatment. YTHDC1 is the main nuclear reader protein that binds with m6A to regulate the splicing, export and stability of mRNA. However, the specific role and corresponding mechanism of YTHDC1 in renal cancer cells are still unclear.

Methods: The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) dataset was used to study the expression of YTHDC1 in ccRCC. Cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8), wound healing, Transwell and xenograft assays were applied to explore the biological function of YTHDC1 in ccRCC. Western blot, quantitative real time PCR (RT‒qPCR), RNA immunoprecipitation PCR (RIP-qPCR), methylated RIP-qPCR (MeRIP-qPCR) and RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analyses were applied to study the YY1/HDAC2/YTHDC1/ANXA1 axis in renal cancer cells. The CCK-8 assay and xenograft assay were used to study the role of YTHDC1 in determining the sensitivity of ccRCC to sunitinib.

Results: Our results demonstrated that YTHDC1 is downregulated in ccRCC tissues compared with normal tissues. Low expression of YTHDC1 is associated with a poor prognosis in patients with ccRCC. Subsequently, we showed that YTHDC1 inhibits the progression of renal cancer cells via downregulation of the ANXA1/MAPK pathways. Moreover, we also showed that the YTHDC1/ANXA1 axis modulates the sensitivity of tyrosine kinase inhibitors. We then revealed that HDAC2 inhibitors resensitize ccRCC to tyrosine kinase inhibitors through the YY1/HDAC2 complex. We have identified a novel YY1/HDAC2/YTHDC1/ANXA1 axis modulating the progression and chemosensitivity of ccRCC.

Conclusion: We identified a novel YY1/HDAC2/YTHDC1/ANXA1 axis modulating the progression and chemosensitivity of ccRCC.

Keywords: ANXA1; Clear cell renal cell carcinoma; HDAC2/YY1; Sunitinib; YTHDC1.

MeSH terms

  • Annexin A1 / genetics
  • Annexin A1 / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell* / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell* / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell* / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / genetics
  • Histone Deacetylase 2 / genetics
  • Histone Deacetylase 2 / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Kidney Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Kidney Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins* / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins* / metabolism
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • RNA Splicing Factors* / genetics
  • RNA Splicing Factors* / metabolism
  • Sincalide / metabolism
  • Sunitinib / pharmacology
  • YY1 Transcription Factor / genetics
  • YY1 Transcription Factor / metabolism


  • ANXA1 protein, human
  • Annexin A1
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • RNA Splicing Factors
  • YTHDC1 protein, human
  • YY1 Transcription Factor
  • YY1 protein, human
  • HDAC2 protein, human
  • Histone Deacetylase 2
  • Sincalide
  • Sunitinib